Monday, February 25, 2013

IVF Meds {1}

A huge part of IVF is the medications and treatments. In fact, the medications alone are about a quarter of the cost of the whole IVF procedure. The different medications do all sorts of different things, so I thought I'd explain each of them as I'm instructed to use them.

Saturday I began my first two injections: Gonal-F and Menopur. Both of these are follicle-stimulating hormones. FSH is the hormone responsible for stimulating the development of egg-containing follicles. We produce FSH naturally in our bodies, but with an IVF cycle, we want to increase the number of follicles (and therefore eggs) that are produced in a cycle. In addition to FSH, Menopur provides luteinising hormone (LH), a hormone that regulates our menstrual cycles and egg production. LH increases just before ovulation.

Both of these meds are self-injected into the abdomen area, just below and around my belly button. I've been instructed to do these for a total of six days, one in the morning and one at night. 

Now, of course there has to be a story:

Saturday morning I gave myself the Gonal-F injection with relatively no problem. It took a little psyching myself up, but I finally did it. Saturday evening, I was all set to give myself the next injection but freaked out when I saw the size of the needle. I was supposed to have been given a 1/2 inch needle; instead, I was staring at a 1 & 1/2 inch needle! Now in the measure of, say, a mile, an inch doesn't matter much. But when you're talking about sticking something into your stomach, an inch matters a whole lot. After checking and re-checking our paperwork, we realized it was a mistake on the part of the pharmacy, but there was nothing to do at that point except use it. I only pushed it in 1/2 inch, but it was still slightly traumatizing. 

When I've used FSH medications in the past, I've had quite a bit of negative side effects. So far in this cycle, I'm good. I've got three and half more days of injections, then Friday I head in for my next instructions, which may be to continue more of these or start something different. 


  1. You're super tough Can! Way to go!

  2. yikes...that is a huge needle! impressed you used it anyway...i probably would have made eric drive to the pharmacy and get me a new one!! :D and not entirely surprising you've had negative side effects with those types of meds; those hormones don't make us naturally crazy for no reason!

    1. If I had known pharmacies carry needles, I probably would have! I thought it'd be an ordeal to get one, but I actually just walked into Walgreen's yesterday and asked for one from the pharmacist. I'm learning all kinds of new things with this whole deal...